Tandy and Thomson consummated a much-anticipated strategic alliance last night making RCA the primary A/V brand for RadioShack.
The five-year deal, announced this afternoon at a New York press conference attended by top Tandy and Thomson management, calls for the installation of RCA store-within-a-store concept shops that will carry TVs, DVDs, DirecTv systems, set-top converters, VCRs, camcorders, home theater in a box and digital cable modems.
Tandy will begin rolling out the so-called RCA Digital Entertainment Centers to company-owned RadioShack stores in the first quarter of 2000, and expects to have some 4,000 in place by the second quarter, when the partners will break a multi-million dollar
media campaign. The ad effort will be similar to the Sprint and Compaq in-store programs Tandy has launched during the past two years.
As the first leg of the agreement, Tandy has begun shipping RCA DVD players to 3,500 stores, marking RadioShack's entry into the category. The players will carry a street price of $299. There are no plans at present to carry Divx.
Both companies said that RCA products will ultimately be sold via RadioShack's forthcoming e-commerce site as well as its physical stores, although delivery issues are still being worked out.